"The tragic reality is that very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple: to let people arrange their own food, energy and shelter is to lose economic and political control over them. We should cease to look to power structures, hierarchical systems, or governments to help us, and devise ways to help ourselves." - Bill Mollison

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Flowers Too!

From the desk of Mrs. H... My first job out of high school was a minimum wage seasonal position in a local nursery that specialized in annual flowers. There was one large glass greenhouse and several plastic hoop houses where we would work like mad from March through the 1st of July and then, just like that, the season was over. I found myself a bit disappointed having discovered how much I had really enjoyed the atmosphere, the hustle-bustle, the people, the physical labor, and the outdoors. I liked working at the greenhouse. So much so, that I found myself going back season after season for seven years.

The folks I worked for were ever expanding adding poinsettias for the Christmas season, and cyclamen, cinerarias, lilies, cut mums, and other early spring flowers which, to my advantage, kept me in a job for most of the year. My relationship with the owners matured to a point where they would take an occasional weekend trip and I would get to tend the entire place myself. What a great time I had watering, wandering, and checking on everything, including their dog. The place was mine for two days - both a huge responsibility and an absolute joy at the same time.

It was there that a great love of flowers developed. I especially enjoyed creating endless hanging baskets, baskets where I could pick and choose the flowers to be included, this one or that one? That one or this? Oh, heck, how about all of them? Much was left to the imagination and once planted they were hung for a month or more and allowed to grow into gorgeous creations that quickly sold out.

As life happens, I eventually left for other adventures but I've never forgotten the time spent at the greenhouse and unlike other jobs I have held this one will always stand out as my all time favorite. It is only now, many years later, that I again have an opportunity (the time) to renew my lost love of growing, tending, and just admiring the flowers.

Our yard is very sheltered and shaded by cedar, tamarack, and fir. Huge trees that threaten to fall on our roof with each passing wind and thunderstorm. Trees that have shed their needles into the soil for more years that I have been alive, trees with root systems so tough and close to the surface that an axe and a husband are necessary items if one actually wants to break up the soil enough to get a plant into the ground and still the results are always disappointing. So much so that I gave up on our front yard last year and started sneaking a few things into Mr. H's food garden where there is a little more, not much, but a little more sun.

You have to be creative when working with a quite logical man. "Look, honey, you can actually eat these nasturtiums, and we can make tea from the chamomile. The bee balm will attract bees to help pollinate, and the flax, while beautiful in bloom, can be eaten as seeds in the fall". And so, a few flowers found their place among the more sensible crops that we would actually be able to eat. And...by getting my flower foot in the door, there may be no stopping me now.

Oh, the plans I have and they just got better when we happened upon the sale of All Seeds Half Off the other day. What a great excuse to buy a few extras I've never tried before. Plans include my first post-greenhouse shot at making a bunch of hanging baskets just for myself to enjoy. I also have many large baskets, pots, and hollowed out logs that will soon be cascading with reds, yellows, and hues of blues and purples. Soon may be a bit of an overstatement as the seeds have yet to be started and this mornings' temp was a record setting chilly 2° below, yes, below zero. A girl has gotta hold onto her dream though and I will keep holding on with a gloved hand, as long as it takes!

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails